A Day in Cherokee National Forest

Article Author:
Christine Doka, CAC AmeriCorps Staff; Alum 2015-2018

One of the roles of CAC AmeriCorps staff is to conduct at least 2 yearly site visits for all of our members. While the idea of a “site visit” from program staff might seem intimidating, the true purpose of these is to check on regulatory requirements (is your AmeriCorps Serving Here sign up?), check in with the site supervisor, but most importantly, talk to and get to know the member a bit better to help guide them in their current projects as well as help them identify long term goals to get ready for life after AmeriCorps.

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Chasing Conservation through ConServe Knoxville

Article Author:
Christine Doka, CAC AmeriCorps Staff; Alum 2015-2018

A year of service through CAC AmeriCorps can look different from person to person. Depending on your service site, you could be engaging in anything from hiking to remove invasive plant species, performing environmental education, or building capacity through the office or organization you are serving with. As staff, we often tell Continue reading “Chasing Conservation through ConServe Knoxville”

The Challenge of Encouraging Environmental Awareness and Design

Article Author:
Mariah Lowry, CAC AmeriCorps Member 2018-2019

Ever heard of the Biophilia Hypothesis?  The theory was initially proposed by biologist Edward Wilson and suggests that human beings possess an innate desire to form connections with nature and other forms of life and this connection, in turn, promotes healthier lifestyles.  A quick internet search inquiring about the links between cognitive and social well-being in relation to environmental surroundings yields numerous studies that support this link between access to a diverse and healthy environment with stronger mental health in populations.  For instance, studies have shown that children Continue reading “The Challenge of Encouraging Environmental Awareness and Design”

Self-Discovery through AmeriCorps Service

Article Author: Megan Geer, serving at Ijams Nature Center (2018-2019)

What made you decide to join AmeriCorps? Was it what you thought it would be?

When I decided to join AmeriCorps it was very much an opportunity to boost my resume with actual work experience in a field that I had no experience in. It turned out to be much more than just some entry level opportunity. I wish I had joined with the sole intention of giving back to the community that has given me so much but that wasn’t the case when I started. However, after joining I quickly realized that AmeriCorps was going to be a year filled with meeting wonderful people and making a big difference in a wonderful community. My time serving has shown me ways to connect with people that Continue reading “Self-Discovery through AmeriCorps Service”

Behind the Scenes – Randall Eaker

Article Authors: Christine Doka & Randall Eaker (CAC AmeriCorps 2018-2019)

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has been a cornerstone in East Tennessee since the 1930s. The TVA Act, which created TVA, was part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal to help residents of East Tennessee recover from the Great Depression through employment, access to electricity, and otherwise generally improving the quality of life in the region. Since then, TVA has grown to serve over 10 million people in 7 southeastern states. If you ask a local about TVA, you may hear about the noticeable steam plants that overlook our rivers, or the large dams that were built to control flooding in the area. However, TVA does much more than providing electricity and controlling flooding; TVA also offers outdoor recreation spaces and economic development opportunities.

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Working Together Works

Article Author: 
Christine Doka, CAC AmeriCorps Member & VISTA Leader 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 in collaboration with Hannah Freeman, CAC AmeriCorps VISTA member 2017-2018.

With a small staff but mighty power, the City of Knoxville’s Office of Neighborhoods is always looking for new and creative ways to engage community members to organically bring about the change they want to see. I had the opportunity to sit down with their current VISTA member, Hannah Freeman, to discuss how she has begun to make an impact through the Office of Neighborhoods in Knoxville.

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